Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thoughts From Shanghai

I just noticed my last post was from May 2007, when I traveled to Israel.

I'm now in Shanghai, China.

So what has happened over the last year?

After Israel, I took a cruise with my family in Rome, and then went back to Naples, Florida for a year to build my business.

It's becoming harder for me to live with one foot in this world, and one foot with God. I've become luke warm at times. Unthankful for what God has done in my life. He has changed my life so completely that it's difficult to remember how I was before I knew Him.

It is writen, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

God's Love for us is enough to fill eternity. He has given us all things and placed heaven before our eyes. "Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes" (Ecclesiastes 7:29)."

May we all be thankful for all the blessings in our lives and turn to God with our whole hearts.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Arrived in the Holy Land!

I am so happy to be here in Israel again! I arrived yesterday morning and made my way from the Ben Gurion/Tel Aviv airport to a town called Kiryat Shmona, in the north near the border of Lebanon. My friend Alon lives there in an apartment over looking the mountains in the area.

Today we traveled to Alon's mom's house in Kfar Vradim, about two hours away from Kiryat Shmona. On our way, we saw the sun setting in the mountains.

On Sunday I will head for the Kotel Wall in Jerusalem.

It's such a blessing to be here - and the paths are opening in every direction with opportunity. I may go the Sea of Gaililee, or Alon has family that lives in the desert, so I may stay there if the weather cools down. (It's around 100 degrees right now). 6 of my friends from my last trip to Africa are all in Israel now, so we will surely meet up soon.

I will write more later.

Love,
Josh

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Finally Home!

After almost 11 months of traveling on my recent trip, I'm finally back home :)

Pictures are posted here.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Zimbabwe Hyperinflation

An interesting article on Zimbabwe´s current hyperinflation problems. I witnessed the same economic problems throughout Zimbabwe. The salaries of workers lag behind the growing inflation-- many people can´t afford to buy basic food for living.

I spent a week living with a family in a place called Cement, near Bulawayo. The oldest in the family, a 25 year old guy, worked 10 hours away in a larger town and supported his family of 4.
The family had little money to pay for food or even basic healthcare. While we were there, we bought food and basic supplies for the family. The situation is terrible and continuing to get worse.

Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, is blamed by all for the rising inflation-- and rightly so. His government continues to print more money, to pay for the salaries of government officials. Mugabe is also seizing the land of foreign investors, compounding the problem by pulling out most of the foreign money from the country.

I´m not sure if you are concerned with the problems of Zimbabwe, but the fact is that while we are driving around in our 4 by 4´s and complaining about rising gas prices, there are others much worse off-- and we should keep that in mind.

..

Right now I´m in the city of Jujoy in northern Argentina. I´m making my way up to Bolivia in the next week. Today I think I´m heading over to a hot springs about 30 minutes from here. Last week, I rented a car with 3 others and drove for 3 days around the mountainous region south of Salta. Ýes, I´ve been taking plenty of pictures and hope to post them soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Quick Update

I decided to postpone my ticket and stay in Argentina until June 2nd. I'm now living at the Gaia Ecovillage, you can learn more about permaculture and sustainable living from their website.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Coming Home!

Hello Family & Friends,

I've been spending the last few days relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Tofo, Mozambique. The life here is easy- I have a small hut with a bed that I pay $10/night in a lodge that has a self-catering kitchen, bathrooms and hot water for showers. Every evening, the local fishermen bring in the catch of the day which includes shrimps, barracuda, plenty of huge fish and squid. The other night I bought 2 kilos of shrimp for $4 US.

I'm looking forward to coming home after this long, but amazing journey. I've counted the countries I've travelled through: Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique- what a trip!
I'm excited and content. Joyous and calm. I'm at peace. Who wouldn't be after living so stress-free for so long :)

I can't wait to see everyone's shining faces.

Love,
Josh

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Some thoughts..

The time has come for me to leave this fine city of Buenos. I leave Wednesday for Cape Town, South Africa for a 4-month side trip that will take me to the New Beginnings - 500 didj players, 5000 djembe drummers, 500 fire dancers.

From there, I'm heading to see the pyramids in Egypt and maybe make my way to Prague.. Then back home in May for Darrin's wedding..

There's so much to write about, but I'm at a loss for words. I've met some amazing people on my travels. It's such a small world though, I was talking to someone yesterday who happened to grow up in Kfar Vradim and is best friends with my good friend Alon from Israel.

I met Jon, the backpacker who's traveled to 40 countries in the past 8 years. I had actually met him before while traveling in India...

I met Silvana, a shining star from Peru, who was terribly unhappy in her life before starting her journey. She decided to quit her two jobs and leave her family and friends to head to Uruguay for the Rainbow gathering. I just got this email from her..

"Hello beautifull brother!!

It´s beautifull to have news from you again, the gathering is finished , but
the rainbow in my live continue, and this is only the beginning!!

I´m so happy that there are no words to explain it!!"


And then there are the faces and personalities that seem to intertwine.. "Have I met you before?" .. "You look familiar..."

I met Natasha from Jersey & BA, Mabel from BA, Shooooki from Israel, Caroline from Zambia.. Emanuel from Venezuela.. all the amazing people at the Urbano hostel in Buenos... Eddy from NY.. And so many more diverse people that I have learned from and shared with...

I suppose I'm not usually a very expressive person.. Even when writing this blog, or talking to my family and friends..So I'm going to share with you what I've been thinking a lot about. Not just recently, but for many years. I'm not sure why sharing these things is so hard for me, or why we live in a society when someone starts to talk about spirituality or, of understand the moment, people seem to think they are a hippie or taking some kind of drugs. But, maybe each of us has these thoughts at one time or another..

I spend a lot of time thinking and reading, writing, drawing. Even though my apartment in Buenos has a tv, I put it in the closet - and let me tell you, that's one of the best decisions I've ever made- I highly recommend you do the same.. I was told by Jon the backpacker that there is a phrase in the bible- the devil will be attached to each of our homes.. Just take a look at the rooftops of houses and see the satellites which beam this bullshit into our heads all day long.

Where is the truth in all of this? I'm reading a book now called the Awakening of Intelligence by J. Krishnamurti - one of the most insightful books I've ever read. It's really changing my perception on how I view the world around me...

"It would be rather interesting and worth while if we could share together a mind that is not tortured, that is fundamentally free, that has no barriers, that sees things as they are, that sees that an interval of time separates man from nature and from other human beings, that sees the meaning of dreadful, frightening time and space, that knows what is really the quality of love. If we could share this--not intellectually, not in a most cunning, elaborate, philosophical, metaphysical way, but actually partake of it, if we could do that I think all our problems would end. But this sharing is not with another, one must have it first. Then when you have it in abundance. And when there is this abundance the one and the many are the same, like a tree that is full of leaves of which one leaf is perfect and is part of the whole tree."

I guess many of you reading this are dismissing the words, or remarking one thing or another, "Josh is living in a dream world." But it's becoming more obvious to me that there is something in this world besides what we are led to believe. I believe humanity is undergoing a time of great darkness right now. I'm not sure if you are able to see it, but I believe we are moving further away from the truth of reality, of this moment..

In my diary I write.. "In my most awake and aware moments, I consider the grandness of life. I see the mystic in the air and I think to pursue the greatness before me. And I follow it in this moment -- this is the secret. You don't 'follow' a path somewhere in a country or in the future, or with planning. To follow this path, you focus all your will power on existing in the present. In each moment, focus is required. When the mind is not focused, it forgets. In pouring tea, washing dishes.. identify the present moment. No thinking required. In fact, when you are thinking you are not living in the present. When working, be aware of yourself, your ego- your interaction - watch how your ego behaves in situations and in realities - develop an understanding by poking and prodding.. exploring new things, changing, in this moment - always changing by simply pushing yourself - your ego - your mind - your body - into the direction of truth, of what you hold highest. For this is how you begin to understand. This is the path.. no country or future needed."

..."How to stop worrying and start living"...

I have always overthought things. Maybe for the people who know me, they might remark something about me being a chess player.. but this is a different type of thinking that I'm sure we all share to varying degrees. We think about some past memory.. some conversation we had, or what we should have said, or where we are going to be in the future, or is my girlfriend being faithful to me.. We cloud our mind with irrational thoughts and desire.. and for me, taking a step back and being able to observe these thoughts has really helped me to overcome them - to identify them - and be aware that they exist as a part of my ego.

My diary has interesting passages; here is one from December 6th.. "What a terrific day. I met Helena today, we went to see some parks and saw a clown in a thong doing flips on a trapeze."

.."People sprint to success as if it was a marathon, sprinting for god’s sakes! At the top of their lungs! Yelling as if they were under a boiling fire! These people desire and desire more.. more success..more money.. they never remove themselves from the fire, only increase the speed at which they are running at the bottom of the burning pot."

.."I sleep quietly,
I wish, something changes,
but it won't,
Until I do.
And the morning comes again.."

.."Life is a privilege!"..

.."When I'm on my deathbed. I want to give two thumbs up and exclaim "What a life!"..

Jon the backpacker said these words.. "We are Infinite and Timeless beings, ever growing, spiraling upwards.. Truth is Simplicity is Love."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pic from my balcony, overlooking Recoleta, next door is a brewery, 2 strip clubs and a dozen dance clubs/bars. no, you cannot have my apartment. Posted by Picasa

interesting elevator.. Posted by Picasa

My apartment, 1 bedroom/1 bath, living room, nice ceilings, fridge, tv/dvd, high speed internet, wood floors, maid included..$550/month. Posted by Picasa